National Advocates For Arts Education May 2017 update

by Julie Dyson, Chair

NAAE is coordinating the publication of a new edition of its highly successful More Than Words Can Say – a View of Literacy Through the Arts, last updated in 2003. This has meant re-engaging with the original authors and commissioning a new Foreword. We’re delighted to announce that this will be written by arts educator Professor Robyn Ewing AM of the University of Sydney, author of the influential research paper The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential.

The dance chapter has been revised by Sue Fox, Principal Education Officer (Dance & Drama) at the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (and an NAAE member), with support from the original author, Ralph Buck. We look forward to publishing the completed edition with all arts forms later this year.

In the meantime NAAE is in the process of setting up a meeting in June with the Ministry for the Arts in Canberra to explore the possibility of bringing together some of Australia’s leading STEAM advocates. We recognise that there is good work currently being done across Australia to have the Arts included in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda, but we think it would be beneficial to come together to map some combined advocacy strategies.

Also on the NAAE’s radar is sharing information with the new Labor for the Arts group, which we note has indicated a strong interest in arts education. We have proposed a meeting to introduce the NAAE and its work, and to find out more about this group’s aspirations. The group was launched in March by Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke, followed by a panel discussion with industry leaders discussing cultural diversity in the arts. You can learn more from their Facebook page. In the meantime, NAAE maintains its policy of advocating for arts education to all political parties and politicians in Canberra, and we look forward to further meetings in Canberra soon.

Finally, we congratulate NAAE member John Saunders, President of Drama Australia and Education Manager at Sydney Theatre Company for his new publication (with Prof. Ewing) The School Drama Book: Drama, Literature and Literacy in the Creative Classroom. John has also written a very interesting article, Drama in the Australian national curriculum – the role of advocacy, which documents the role of advocacy in the arts, and includes the influence of NAAE in the development of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. John will also represent NAAE at a Labor for the Arts education and the arts forum to be held on Saturday 29 July at the Sydney Town Hall.